Rick Pitino delivers memorable one-liner after forgettable rout

The most memorable part of Louisville’s 87-26 demolition of overmatched Savannah State wasn’t anything that took place on the court.

It was a brazen one-liner coach Rick Pitino delivered near the end of his postgame press conference.

Asked if there were times he felt bad for Savannah State as the Cardinals’ lead ballooned into the 50s and 60s, Pitino acknowledged he stopped worrying about how to win early in the game and started devising ways not to win by too much.

“I don’t like to see any team struggle like that. I really don’t,” Pitino began. Then he quipped, “I mean, we played four white guys and an Egyptian. We tried everything.”

Pitino’s joke was a little risqué for a postgame press conference, but it drew a laugh from many of the reporters in the room. And, in truth, the Louisville coach did do everything he could not to embarrass Savannah State after it fell behind 29-0 after 16 minutes, 41-7 at halftime and 63-10 seven minutes into the second half.

He abandoned his trademark full-court pressure at halftime and instructed his team to fall back into a more traditional half-court defense. He pulled his starters early in the second half and gave his backups extra playing time. In all, he played 15 guys, even getting seldom-used Egyptian Anas Mahmoud, a 7-footer, and walk-ons David Levitch, Dillon Avare and Trent Gilbert a combined 29 minutes.

That the lead kept growing anyway was pretty remarkable, considering Savannah State may not even be the worst team on Louisville’s schedule. The Tigers went 10-6 in the MEAC last season and entered play Monday night 2-2 with solid victories over Horizon League contender Cleveland State and Winthrop, which has already defeated Clemson this season.

Savannah State shot 10-of-51 from the field, 0-of-16 from behind the arc and 6-of-12 from the foul line. The only silver lining for the Tigers was they didn’t break the shot-clock-era record for scoring futility in a half. Of course, that record belongs to Savannah State’s 2008 team, which managed only four points in the second half against Kansas State.

Louisville’s blowout was reminiscent of rival Kentucky’s 86-28 victory over woeful Montana State this past weekend. Of course that sparked arguments between Cards and Cats fans on social media over who trounced the better opponent.

Pitino has little interest in that debate or even in anything to do with Monday’s game. He won’t even have his team watch film from it because he says it will do the Cardinals no good.

“You get nothing out of this,” he told reporters in Louisville. “You just feel bad for the other team.”

Written by Nick Endress

Nick Endress

Nick the Quick Endress is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?